Revenge is sweet for Sox
It wasn't the most impressive outing the Gold Sox have had this summer, but strong defense, good situational hitting, and an early dose of power was enough to pull off Yuba-Sutter's 14th straight win at All Seasons RV Stadium.
Doug Thennis hit a monster two-run home run in the first inning, and the Gold Sox (16-2, 13-2) got a little payback on the Solano Thunderbirds (6-7, 5-5) with a 5-2 Horizon Air Summer Series win a day after their record 13-game winning streak came to an end at Travis Credit Union Park in Vacaville.
The 14 straight home wins tied a collegiate franchise record.
Right-handed hitting Thennis, who's been driving doubles to all fields this summer - eight so far in 10 games played - made it easy on himself this time, driving a fastball deep over the right-center field wall for a two-run home run in the first inning.
All Seasons RV has a short porch in right field, just 305 feet down the line, but the wall gets deep quickly as it follows 14th street out to right-center field.
Thennis' ball landed half way up the protective netting above the wall some 15 feet right of the park's deepest point, which is marked as 405 feet.
“That was a big league hit,” Yuba-Sutter manager Brad Peek said. “To be able to do that is impressive, driving it out to the opposite field.”
The blast scored Etienne Materre and put Yuba-Sutter up 2-0 early.
But on a night when the Thunderbirds out hit the Gold Sox by six, 13-7, Yuba-Sutter needed to take advantage of every opportunity.
Enter Matt Edgecombe.
The senior from Fresno State hasn't exactly been lighting up the stat sheet since donning a Gold Sox uniform - he's hitting .273 with one double and two RBIs in 11 games.
But with the game tied at two in the fifth inning and Matt Kavanaugh on first base, Edgecombe drove a line drive through the right side of the infield on a perfectly executed hit-and-run on the first pitch of his at-bat.
Kavanaugh motored around to third and then scored shortly after on a passed ball.
“It's always great to get a hit, but that kind of hitting is more of a team hit,” Kavanaugh said. “When you can fulfill an assignment for your team, it's awesome.”
Edgecombe scored later in the inning on a Thennis single to make it 4-2 Gold Sox, and in the sixth he came through again, this time lifting a sacrifice-fly to deep center field to bring home Joél Torres from third.
Solano's Michael Hernandez hit a solo home run off starter Alberto Rolon in the second inning, and the Thunderbirds pushed across another run in the fourth.
Rolon was not as sharp as he has been at other times this season, but even so, the Gold Sox's defense was solid behind him, and the nine hits the Thunderbirds managed off Rolon only turned into two runs during his four innings of work.
Ryan Zaft (2-1) came on in the fifth and shut Solano down. He pitched three innings, allowing three hits and no walks with two strikeouts. He was also the winning pitcher.
Josh Roberts pitched the final two innings to earn his sixth save of the summer.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Nathan D. Collier can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.